What Tarot Can Do For the World
July 3, 2009 § 9 Comments
This morning I asked, “What can Tarot do for the world?” I wanted to know if Tarot had anything to offer us in the 21st Century. By us, I don’t just mean tarot lovers; I mean the world at large and people in general. I wanted to know if Tarot could save the world.
The answer I got, drawn from the Aquarian Tarot, was the Seven of Pentacles. Which is such a perfect answer if you think about it. The Seven of Pentacles is the pause button. Tarot gives us the opportunity to pause, to evaluate our lives. I have spent the past six, almost seven months, stuck on play (occasionally on fast-forward). I’ve had very little time for Tarot. Almost every day I have questions I’d like to ask but don’t. Instead, I just get on with things that need doing, leaving the questions unanswered.
Having an unanswered question or two doesn’t sound so bad. What that really means, however, is that I daily have thoughts and feelings that go unexamined. I repeat the same mistakes because I don’t make time to understand why I’m messing up or to work out how I can do better. I’m making big, huge, major decisions – moving house, finding childcare for my daughter, falling out with my parents – without sitting down to consider how I really feel. I am being swept along by my life instead of stepping out ahead of it.
I’m not saying I need tarot cards to tell me how I feel. But when I sit down to do a tarot reading some kind of switch goes off inside. It’s the intention: by taking the time to do a tarot reading and putting the rest of my life on pause I’m saying this – this issue, this situation – is important to me. It matters enough to warrant careful consideration. Without tarot cards, I may think endlessly about the same problem, but not in the same way. I think in circles. I might think about it as I’m washing up, bathing the baby, cooking dinner, working, but without Tarot I don’t have an excuse to sit still and only think. Tarot takes the problem out of my head and spreads it in front of me. It freezes it so I can walk around it, look at it from all angles, see what’s really going on. It’s these moments of stillness in life that allow me to check my progress, to make sure I’m still on the path I want to be on.
In the 21st Century, everything moves at the speed of light. Tarot gives us the opportunity to slow down – not to stop, but to pause, check where we’ve been and where we’re heading, and make navigational adjustments if necessary. Or, as Ferris Bueller says:
Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
And that’s what Tarot can do for the world.